Thursday Longhorn Sports Page

Stay up to date on all things Burnt Orange with a daily stop at IT's Longhorn Sports Page, with links to the latest news and opinion articles on UT football, basketball, baseball, recruiting and other sports from around the web.


A.J. Abrams: Texas Swagger
Texas sophomore guard A.J. Abrams talked to Inside Texas about the swagger his team carries, his shot and being a leader for a team full of freshman as the Longhorns prepare to take on New Mexico State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

For Durant, Riches Deferred
Washington Post
Kevin Durant makes a dual impression on the basketball court. The first impression is one of sheer talent -- here is the bounding, net-ripping, honest-to-God real thing, unmistakably a potential great. The second impression is one of youth. Durant, a University of Texas freshman from Suitland, only turned 18 in September and doesn't even have his driver's license. He's so young he has only had time to get one tattoo. It's over his heart, and it's his mother's name. The juxtaposition of weedy youngness and capacious talent in a 6-foot-9 frame has made Durant at once the most celebrated and argued-over college player in the country. Previously, a savant like Durant would have already gone to the NBA. Instead, he has become a test case of the league's controversial new age minimum.

Texas' Durant is a star with polish, poise
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Mozart was a child prodigy. Bobby Fischer was meant to play chess, Van Cliburn to play a piano. Perhaps Kevin Durant was born to play basketball. His phenomenal freshman season at Texas is not a mystical product of genes, overactive pituitary glands or fast-twitch muscles. If Durant was destined for greatness in college basketball, he has not been passive in the pursuit of that destiny.

Texas' freshman hoopster awesome
Denver Post
What impresses coaches most about Kevin Durant isn't the range of his jump shot, which appears to span several ZIP codes. Or his ball-handling skills, which can match most any point guard though Durant is 6-feet-9. Or his knack for coming up with the clutch play. What is most amazing is that the Texas freshman forward somehow has surpassed the enormous expectations placed on him.

Cleaning house: Theus has revamped New Mexico State program
Austin American-Statesman

NMSU to face Texas on Friday
Associated Press
New Mexico State coach Reggie Theus was asked Sunday if the Aggies have faced any player this season that reminds him of Texas super freshman Kevin Durant. Theus lowered his head and thought hard. No name came forth. "What he can do far exceeds what he can't do," said Theus. "He's potent offensively and athletic and just does so many things." New Mexico State (25-8), back in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1999, will take on No. 4 seed Texas (24-9) Friday in Spokane, Wash. The Aggies, who left Wednesday for Spokane, are the No. 13 seed in the East Regional.

Durant the main topic on Aggie Minds
New Mexico State Round Up
The 13th seeded New Mexico State Aggies will be hoping for a Texas-sized upset Friday, when they take on the fourth seeded Texas Longhorns in the first round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament in Spokane, Washington. The Longhorns are led by potential freshman of the year, forward Kevin Durant, who led the Longhorns in both scoring (25.6 ppg) and rebounds (11.3 rpg). "We haven't seen a player like [Durant] all season," said NMSU guard Justin Hawkins. "It's going to take a whole team effort to guard him."


Akina: 'We're Going to be a Good Secondary'
The 2006 season was the best of times and worst of times for the Texas defense, posting the second-best run defense (61.2 ypg) and worst pass defense (236.2 ypg) in program history. But Co-Defensive Coordinator Duane Akina is convinced the Longhorn secondary will be significantly improved in 2007.

The Greatest Teams in Texas Football History
Over the past two weeks, Inside Texas subscribers voted on the Top 10 in Texas football history in 10 different categories. The first entry in a daily release of the lists is the Top Ten Teams in the History of Texas Football.

Football recruiting:

Aghayere: Taking His Time
Garland, Texas defensive end Chancey Aghayere's tour of Big 12 junior days is now complete. He spent the last month visiting Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma and found something positive about each visit. Has anyone jumped into the drivers' seat to land Aghayere?


Texas pitching, defense strong
Austin American-Statesman
Hello pitching. Hello defense. You're exactly what Texas wanted to see in its final tuneup before Big 12 play opens Friday against Baylor. Like Kyle Walker coming back after a month-plus layoff to pitch three innings of one-run baseball. Or Pat McCrory needing just 10 pitches to get through two innings. Or left-handed reliever Keith Shinaberry completing another successful outing from the bullpen. Texas pitchers showed during Wednesday night's 7-1 win over Winthrop that Augie Garrido has options in the bullpen.

Women's hoops:

Goestenkors not thinking about Texas right now
Durham Herald Sun
Duke coach Gail Goestenkors has been identified as one of the top targets of Texas as the school begins its search to replace Jody Conradt, the former Longhorns coach who retired Monday after winning more than 900 women's basketball games during her career. The Austin American-Statesman went so far as to call Goestenkors the "gold standard" of the potential candidates in its Wednesday's edition. Would Goestenkors be interested?


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